Online harassment can come in the form of online bullying, trolling, cyber stalking, defamation, public shaming and hate speech. Online violence is in itself a pandemic that affects several individuals and while both men and women are targets of online harassment, the way in which it takes place is different. Women with voices and influence are the main targets for online harassment and this forces women to stand down and stay silent which works in favour of the abuser. Online violence for women quickly takes a turn to sexualized hate and threats which exposes the gaps in gender equality within our society.
The steps being taken by Plan International Malawi towards ending online harassment are necessary as women should not have to be silenced simply because certain individuals do not agree with what is being said. We should be free to post content without the fear of being judged and scrutinized, we should be allowed to be who we are without being subjected to social patriarchal norms, without being told that we are not enough or that we are too much. Women are continuously sexualized and have therefore been forced to shrink themselves and we are constantly questioning ourse